Old Lines Leave Payson Residents In Dark Wednesday

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About 270 residents of Payson North and Alpine Heights were without power Wednesday night due to two successive cable failures.

Three servicemen and a three-man crew from Arizona Public Service responded to the first outage reported about 10 p.m., Payson district manger Jim Spencer said.

The cable failure was found to have occurred in the vicinity of Arrowhead Drive and Easy Street.

Spencer estimates that by about 11 p.m. all but 60 customers had their lights back on. By 6 a.m., he said, all power in the area was restored.

However, at about 2 a.m. another outage occurred in Alpine Heights. Workers found a second cable failure near Skyway and Easy Streets.

Power there was restored before 6 a.m., Spencer said. All of the repairs were performed by Payson personnel.

"Everyone was busy most of the night," Spencer said.

Cable failures of the sort that happened Wednesday are not uncommon around the state. The lines that are faulting "direct bury cable" were first installed in the 1970s and don't have conduit protection or superior technology of modern cable, Spencer said.

For the past several years, APS crews in Payson have been working to replace the direct bury with updated lines.

While performing repairs at the Payson North outage, crews were able to reroute the power from the failed cable to new lines which had been installed earlier but were not yet in service, Spencer said.

Payson North residents have probably noticed APS crews in the area the past year replacing the old cable, Spencer said.

He estimates it will be another year before all of the old cable is replaced, but doesn't anticipate continued power failures.

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